It’s my favorite time of year! CANNING TIME! My fondest memories are canning with friends (remember all of those crock pots with apple butter? LOL!) I’ve come to realize that most people are scared canning is a lot of work, because it is when you do it by yourself….which is also why you should NEVER do it by yourself. Get together with some friends, let the kids play while you chat, laugh, and can something delicious like this Roasted Pepper Pasta Sauce.
As many of you know, I’m a CANBASSADOR for Sweet Preservation-helping spread the good word about canning and putting up the harvest, including great recipes and ideas for canning. (So food storage appropriate!) So every year they send me some fruit from the great state of Washington. But I have to tell you when I got these cherries in the mail, I had a super hard time not eating them. They were picked at the peak of freshness and were huge! I’m talking one inch wide! Okay, maybe I did have a few…I had to make sure they were edible for canning!
I had actually never canned cherries before but was really excited at the prospect of it, after all, I LOVE cherries! The process was really simple. Just pit the cherries (I got myself a new cherry pitter this year, check it out HERE)
See that new cherry pitter behind my bowl of pitts? It was awesome, so easy my five year old pitt the cherries! But it can be a little messy, wear aprons for sure! Then make a simple syrup from water and sugar (ranging from heavy to light, I made mine light because the cherries were so sweet).
Then fill the jars with cherries and syrup, leaving 1 inch head space.
And process in a water bath canner for the specified amount of time.
Voila! I love canning fruit, it’s so easy and my kids love to help! These cherries are legit and very yummy! You can use them to make authentic Black Forest Torte cake (you know in Germany they use sweet canned cherries not the pie filling made from sour cherries that us Americans use) or to make this ultra yummy salad I made.
Yep…that’s blue cheese, candied pecans, canned cherries over a bed of arugula and romaine lettuce topped with my favorite white balsamic vinaigrette. Super YUMMY!
In addition to canning, I also decided to freeze a few to use in smoothies, homemade ice cream, etc. (Oh, and some strawberries that we weren’t eating fast enough from my fridge). Super easy to do, I just washed, dried and laid them flat on a cookie sheet to freeze for a few hours before transferring them to a Ziploc bag. I’ve already used them in homemade Cherry Chocolate Chip ice cream and it was SO GOOD! What a blessing it is to be able to put up the harvest for a rainy day!
If you’re looking for more recipes for canning, be sure to check out Sweet Preservation for some great ideas!